Senate elections 2018: The number game

According to unofficial results, Hidayatullah, Hilalur Rahman Shamim Afridi, Mirza Muhammad Afridi have won election from Fata from where 25 candidates were contesting on four Senate seats.

Among the successful candidates are Raza Rabbani, Maula Bux Chandio, Mohd Ali Shah Jamot, Dr Sikander Mengro won the technocrat seat while Anwar Lal Dean won the seat for minorities from Sindh. The PML-F adds another five, PkMAP three, National People's Party two, and PML-Zia and the National Party have one lawmaker each on the benches. It has also won one seat from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as Robina Khalid has been elected as senator from KP.

Polling was peaceful and no untoward incident was reported.

The PML-N was expected to replace the PPP as the largest party in the upper house after Saturday's election.

All members of PMLN will be contesting as independent candidates.

"PML-N now the single largest party in Senate as well", she said.

"Congratulations to all democrats".

"Senate elections yet again witnessed shameful horse trading where MPAs bought and sold their votes as country witnessed this sale of their elected people to highest bidder. In which Western democracy does such a sale happen?" he said.

Talking to media outside National Assembly (NA), Gulalai criticised PTI chief Imran Khan for skipping polling and not arriving at the assembly to cast vote.

Today, Pakistanis will go to the polls to elect 46 of 104 senate seats in a key bellwether for the lower house general elections later this year.

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New Senators are elected indirectly by provincial and national assemblies through proportional representation.

In 2018, 52 senators (who were elected in 2012) are slated to retire. Unlike the last senate elections in 2015, lawmakers were not even allowed to take their phones into the assemblies during the vote.

According to the ECP, 1,600 ballot papers for Punjab, 800 for Sindh, 600 for KP, 300 for Balochistan, 800 for Islamabad and 50 for Fata have been printed and handed over to the respective returning officers.

The treasury benches are occupied by 221 members: the PML-N enjoys a majority with 187 members, while its allied JUI-F contributes another 14. They can not use PML-N name and platform due to a recent decision by Supreme Court. However, they are supported by the PML-N and will formally join it after the elections.

Reports and allegations of massive use of money to buy votes have been doing rounds ahead of the elections.

In Balochistan, a candidate needed just nine votes to become senator while in the biggest province of Punjab, 47 votes are needed to elect a senator.

Pakistan's Senate comprises 23 members from each province, eight from FATA and four members from Islamabad. A candidates having support of just three lawmakers can land in the upper house of parliament.

Nearly all political parties had expressed dismay at the election laws of Senate and promised to improve them.

Touching upon the internal conflict in MQM-P, Sattar said, "We have resolved the symptom by agreeing on [the nominees for] the Senate elections, we will sit together on March 5 and resolve the actual condition that was manifested through the symptoms".

  • Adam Floyd